Police impounded dozens of vehicles here Tuesday, 23rd June for breaching the Government of Liberia 6PM deadline for people and vehicles to vacate the streets. Few days ago, police spokesman Moses Carter told a live talk show the police have been directed to enforce the State of Emergency extended by President George Manneh Weah as a result of surge in new cases of the pandemic. Carter also disclosed that as part of the directive, the police are to arrest individuals breaking the deadline and not wearing nose masks in the public.
The arrested vehicles, most of which attempted crossing Bushrod Island by way of the Gabriel Tucker, Waterside and Jamaica Roads bridges were denied entry by Joint Security officers. Police sources said most of the vehicles would be issued tickets in order to deposit fines into government revenue or risk being grounded on government parking lots.
At the same time, while the police were busy dealing with vehicle operators, Coronavirus testing team from the Ministry of Health also requested commuters wanting to cross over to Bushrod Island to report for testing before being allowed to leave. The request from the medical team led people to return to where they came from, refusing to have their specimens taken for virus test.
When the government earlier relaxed the lockdown from 6PM to 9PM, Liberians from all walks of life converged at various night clubs in Monrovia to climax the end of the 60-day State of Emergency declared in April without observance of health regulations. In the Monrovia suburb of Sinkor, some residents threw stones at Police trying to disperse crowd at a night club in the Airfield vicinity, damaging windshield of a police car.
Health authorities here have made nose masks wearing compulsory for everyone appearing in public places or risk arrest and being tested for COVID-19. But many Liberians are shying away from voluntary testing, presumably for lack of adequate awareness and education.
The government Incident Management System (IMS) reported total confirmed cases of 626, 254 recoveries and total 34 deaths from the virus. Editing by Jonathan Browne